How dumb is dumb?
Well, it gets dumber all the time.
Ali Thanawalla has a bylined story on NBC Sports Bay Area, via Andrew Baggarly, that reveals longtime Giants coach Ron Wotus is no longer a candidate for the open manager’s job. Wotus and Hensley Meulens were the only internal candidates interviewed for the vacancy created by Bruce Bochy’s “retirement.”
I reached out to Ron after I saw the story, and he confirmed that he’s out.
It won’t happen, but I’d love for someone from the Giants to contact The Haught Corner and explain to me what Ron has to do for the organization to be worthy of a chance to manage.
Per the Thanawalla story:
Wotus has been with the Giants organization since 1988, and has been a coach with the franchise since 1998. After serving as bench coach from 1999 through the 2017 season, the 58-year-old spent the last two seasons as the third-base coach for Bruce Bochy.
He has been Manager of the Year in A-ball and AAA; he has been on the big-league coaching staff for 21 years; he has been third-base coach twice, and had that long stint as bench coach; and he has been in charge of the infield defense for many years, including the recent shift-oriented deployments.
He has done (and excelled at) so many big-league jobs, and he has proven he can manage. Yet he’s still on the outside, looking in, when it comes to cracking the code to become a big-league manager.
And this isn’t his first rodeo. He’s talked to the the Pirates (2000), Dodgers (2005), Mariners (2013), Rays (2014), and Nationals (2015). By all accounts, he has interviewed well. And although he might be considered “old-school,” he insisted he has kept up with the modern approach to the big-league game.
“We’ve adjusted, as a staff” he told me in September. “There’s so much data to sort through. But we have used it to set our defenses.” And he has consistently drawn raves for his attention to detail as he worked with the Giants’ young infielders.
He’s been the ultimate company man, doing whatever has been asked of him, through several managerial changes.
And his reward for all that? “Thanks, but we’re going in another direction.”
It’s the Giants’ loss, as far as I am concerned. And I hope Ron can finally realize his dream, somewhere, of managing a big-league club. And when that great day finally comes, it wouldn’t break my heart if his club happens to kick the Giants’ asses a few times, as a “thanks for the memories” sort of thing.
I don’t pretend to have journalistic neutrality here. Ron and I have become friendly the last couple of years, since I wrote about him shortly after The Haught Corner was launched (see links below). He is a terrific baseball man, and he is a truly gifted infield instructor. He has given his life to the game, and I wish him nothing but the best going forward.
More about Ron Wotus: